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Nitin Sabherwal

Presently, pursuing his PhD from Heidelberg University in Germany, Sabherwal feels that the members of diaspora should be given a political share in the country of their origin.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2006 21:07 IST

I am happy to say that the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and People of Indian Origin (PIOs) have finally received a semblance of respect and recognition in their motherland.

With January 7-9 being celebrated as Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, I feel that at last, the government has woken up to the reality of the diversity of the diaspora across the world.

Much more needs to be achieved on this front. Apart from renewing trade and cultural bonds with Indians living abroad, what seems important to me is giving members of the diaspora a political share in the country of their origin.

I welcome the call given by the NRI and PIO Ministry to parliamentarians as well as Indian lawmakers, asking them to fortify our age-old links for the benefit of the younger generation and posterity.

I also want to make a point here that the NRIs should invest in knowledge-driven industry. This is an area where we Indians can excel and make a mark in the world.

What, however, does not appeal to me is the unnecessary hype created during the Diaspora Day celebrations. Instead of listening to the voices of the Indian diaspora from distant lands, much of the focus seems to be unfairly devoted to the NRIs based in the affluent countries.

I also read in newspapers that some of the participants were dissatisfied with the treatment accorded to them in previous Diaspora events and had decided not to attend the event next year. That was exactly the opposite of what the organisers should have achieved.

The Pravasi Divas coincides with the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi after two decade-long stay from South Africa to India.

The current generation of NRIs should also resolve to make their presence felt in their homeland in a constructive and pragmatic manner, just as Gandhiji did.

(Nitin Sabherwal is doing PhD from University of Heidelberg,Germany)

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 19:27 IST